Preaching the Gospel ~ Acts 17 Bible Lesson for Kids

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  • To compare three ways people can respond to the gospel
  • To list the events of Acts 17
  • To discuss how Christianity turns the world “upside down”

Acts 17 Paul in AthensMaterials: Inductive Bible Study Form; white board, or paper, to create charts to compare the three cities

Time Needed: 30-45 minutes

Geography: Thessalonica, Berea, Athens

**If you are doing the MAP activity as we go through Acts, please move Paul as he travels to the locations mentioned in this chapter.

Background: Paul is on his Second Missionary Journey with Silas. Paul went to Lystra and invited Timothy to join them. They then went to Troas after the Spirit told them to not go to Asia and a vision sent them to Macedonia. In Philippi they met Lydia, and the church began with her and her household believing in Jesus. After healing a servant girl from a demon, Paul and Silas were put in jail illegally. After the town leaders realized their mistake they asked Paul and Silas to leave quietly.

Main Events of Acts 17:

{This is a great chapter to compare and contrast the three towns Paul visited. Create a chart and then read the chapter while documenting the events.}

Paul, Silas, and Timothy went to Thessalonica. The first place they went was the synagogue. For three Sabbaths, Paul reasoned with the people. What were the results?

- *Some* Jews were persuaded
- A multitude of devout Greeks responded
- Many leading women responded
- Those Jews who were *not* persuaded caused a riot
- Paul was accused of turning the world Upside Down

Evidently there was a disciple named Jason. These jealous Jews attacked his home and dragged Jason and a few others into the city square. After being accused of housing the ones who were turning the world upside down and of going against the Caesar saying there is another king, Jesus, Jason and the others were let go after giving something as security to the city. This could have been money, or maybe they agreed to do certain actions.

This is the Monastery of Vlatadon and by tradition it is associated with jason's House (Image by
This is the Monastery of Vlatadon in Thessalonica and by tradition it is associated with Jason’s House (Image by

Paul and Silas left during the night and went to Berea. Again, they went to the synagogue of the Jews. How did this city respond?

- Received the gospel with readiness
- The people were fair-minded, or noble minded
- Searched the scriptures for themselves
- Many Jews believed
- Many Greeks and prominent women and men believed

What a great thing! But then the Jews from Thessalonica came to town. They began to stir up the crowd. The new church sent Paul away by ship, but Silas and Timothy stayed behind.

It is thought that this building was built over the ruins of the synagogue in Berea where Paul preached. (Image by
It is thought that this building was built over the ruins of the synagogue in Berea where Paul preached. (Image by

Paul traveled to Athens. Once he arrived he sent word back to Silas and Timothy for them to join him. While he waited, Paul looked around the city of Athens and was saddened by the idolatry he saw. Therefore, Paul went to the synagogue and started to reason with the Jews and Gentile worshipers. He also went into the market place daily. He had noticed that there was a temple that had been built to The Unknown God. He told the people that His God had made all of the stone, gold, or silver used to “make” their gods. Paul explained that God was the Creator of all things. How did these people respond?

- Took Paul to Mars Hill
- The people wanted to *know* more
- When people heard about the resurrection, some mocked – others asked to hear more
- Some men joined Paul and believed

After Paul finished and he was mocked, he left Mars Hill.

Mars Hill in Athens (Image from
Mars Hill in Athens (Image from

Application of Acts 17:

The Greeks in Athens loved knowledge. They wanted to know many different ideas and thought processes. They loved logical thinking.The problem with too much logic, or reasoning, is that it does not allow for faith. Paul used logic and reasoning of the scriptures with the Jews to present the gospel. The Bereans responded by searching the scriptures themselves and seeing the Truth of Paul’s reasoning. This allowed their faith to grow and many believed in Jesus.

The Athenians were so concerned about thinking that they couldn’t grasp the concept of there being a resurrection. Coming back to life is not logical. It is not supposed to happen. They did not understand that God, who created life, could control death and life.

Is knowledge important? Absolutely! We must learn so that we are prepared for whatever type of ministry God wants us to do. But if all we know is facts, even facts about the Bible, then our hearts will not grow in faith. Our hearts will not change. Head knowledge must become heart knowledge.

Which people do you want to be like? The Thessalonians? Bereans? or Athenians? Talk to God about it.

Modification for Older Children:

Create a Venn Diagram to take a more detailed look at the three cities.

Read Paul’s sermon to the Athenians. Up to this point, most of Paul’s sermons were to Jews. How is this sermon different? Who was his audience? What are examples of the reasoning he used when speaking to this people group?

What does it mean to “turn the world upside down”? How were Paul and Silas doing this? How can you turn the world upside down?

Other Resources for Acts 17:

Acts 17 Sunday School Lesson
Paul Preaches the Gospel in Athens
The God Who Made Us Lesson
Paul Preaches at Mars Hill
Witness to an Unknown God
Cultural Engagement from Acts 17

Be sure to check out the FFS Pinterest Page for other New Testament Activities!

**Cute clipart is used with permission from

what god is doing

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